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Last Updated on September 6, 2018

How to Become an Entrepreneur? 12 Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs

How to Become an Entrepreneur? 12 Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs

Being a successful entrepreneur doesn’t just happen to someone. People work hard, learn the ins-and-outs of their business, and apply the methods that work in order to become successful.

When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, you want to make sure you know what makes successful entrepreneurs.

How to become an entrepreneur? What do successful entrepreneurs and business people like Bill Gates do to become so successful?

Here’re the secrets:

1. Never take “no” for an answer

Want to know why after so many let downs and disappointments, supper successful entrepreneurs still find their way to the top?

It’s because they never took “no” for an answer. This is the kind of spirit successful folks like Richard Branson have in them.

When you reach out for assistance from people, and they turn you down, do not take their response to your requests as a determinant factor to your success.

I once reached out to experts to interview them for a post I was writing and a particular expert told me my idea was already “beaten to death” and no one would be interested in it again.

I was let down by his response and thought to rethink my idea. But I did not.

I forged ahead with renewed strength and even reached out to more experts. After the post went live, I got so many positive responses from the community and the article was even mentioned on Forbes, and several other publications.

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Had I taken the response of that one responder who told me my idea was already beaten to death, I wouldn’t have had the success I had with the article.

As an entrepreneur, never take a “no” for an answer.

2. Work like you’re going to retire tomorrow

You know one thing about retirement? It makes us want to work harder to save more.

As an entrepreneur, you need to work like you’re going to retire tomorrow. In the spirit of every successful entrepreneur is the desire to work hard.

Successful entrepreneurs find fun and joy in hard work. So they never get tired. And when success finally comes, they’re just well-prepared for it.

3. Employ a mentor

One thing common with most successful entrepreneurs is they have mentors.

As an entrepreneur, you should have a successful role model whose experience will guide your career. This means you need someone who is successful and is willing to share their experiences with you.

If you find it difficult convincing your role model to mentor you, then work hard to impress them.

Besides, you could learn from someone by being an avid reader of their works. Most successful entrepreneurs are also prolific authors. Think Bill Gates or Richard Branson. They’ve all written books that teach their business principles and ideas.

4. Spy on your competitors every now and then

One good thing about entrepreneurship is that you have the freedom to also learn from your competitors. Chances are you have competitors that are way more successful than you are.

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What about the chances that they’ll be willing to teach you their trade? Very slim.

By spying on your most successful competitors, you can learn from their mistakes and apply their best practices to your business.

Buy their products, pose like a customer, and find out their weaknesses.

5. Copy the best challenger

Have you ever heard that copying others is a sin? Well, maybe in exam halls.

But get over it, this is not high school. In the business world, the best copycats tend to emerge the most successful.

Copy what works best from your best challenger and incorporate them into your business. This could include everything from their customer support approach or their marketing tactics.

6. Be humble and stay hungry

As an entrepreneur, you should learn to put your ego to check. You know what kills most businesses very fast? The big egos of their top executives.

Learn to espouse humility and always stay hungry as Steve Jobs always said. He was actually fired from the company he later came back to and saved!

By staying hungry, you’ll be willing to learn new things that could come in handy in the future. Not staying hungry breeds complacency and conceit in entrepreneurs.

The moment you become complacent, you allow others to overtake you and leave you behind.

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7. Do favors like it’s your talent

Learn to do favours without expecting anything in return. When you do favors for people, you get a sense of satisfaction in you that helps you stay motivated.

One thing I’ve also learned from successful entrepreneurs is the most successful never get tired of doing favors.

Neil Patel of QuickSprout has shared numerous stories of how helping people has moved his business forward. There’s even a research into why billionaires who give more of their wealth become even richer.

8. Move fast and improve quickly

In the entrepreneurial world, there’s nothing like taking it slow. Mark Zuckerberg even has a mantra for the importance of speed in business. He often says:

“Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

When I wanted to get started into the internet marketing industry, Yasir Khan, the founder of QuantumSEOLabs, shared his story as a beginner with me:

“I started working with blogs like eZineArticles and then worked up the ladder…now own my company in Canada.”

Many who know EzineArticles today would not even take a second look at the site.

The bottom line is, don’t spend so much time on making decisions. Deliver first, and then improve constantly.

9. Move with a pack

The people you move with as an entrepreneur can also determine how soon you’re going to become successful. That is why it’s advisable to move with a pack of reliable people.

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10. Dream big

Don’t be afraid to dream big. Successful entrepreneurs achieve because of their big dreams.

The co-founders of Google once said their marketing officer once asked them who they wanted to market to and they responded by saying the whole world.

Well, if dreaming big hurts, Google wouldn’t be the gigantic corporation it is today.

11. Love yourself

Sound cliche? But it’s true. An entrepreneur should learn to love yourself.

Many people bother too much about pleasing others that they downright ignore their own feelings. In the entrepreneurial world, you need to give yourself all the love you can afford.

Most people won’t care about your feelings. Everybody is busy trying to win, so stop worrying about pleasing others and start loving yourself!

12. Employ smarter people

The people that work with you are going to play a huge role in the success of your business. Smart people build better businesses.

When the time is ripe for you to start hiring people, you need to seek out the smart ones. Seek for people that are smarter than you are.

To all entrepreneurs who want to become successful early in life, start dreaming big and give your time to others, but never forget to focus on yourself!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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